The Epidemiology of Chickenpox Essay

1290 Words Sep 25th, 2014 6 Pages
The Epidemiology of Chickenpox

The Epidemiology of Chickenpox
Epidemiology can be defined as the study of health patterns and causes within a given population. The nursing field that works with these populations to identify causes and preventative measures is known as public health nursing or community nursing. These nurses seek to identify specific data that help a targeted population deal with the incidence and prevalence of certain conditions (Mauer, Smith, F, 2013). Just like any other disease, chickenpox has its own unique epidemiology, which will be explained in further detail throughout this paper. The epidemiologic triangle is applied to chickenpox as well. With the triad, an agent brings the disease, in this case
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Treatment is centered on comfort and controlling symptoms associated with the disease. Generalized body aches and associated fever may be treated with acetaminophen. Pruritus may be alleviated with diphenhydramine and calamine lotion. Medication regimes include acyclovir, which is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Contraindications for taking this medication include corticosteroids (aerosol form) and anyone on a salicylate medication regime. A varicella zoster immunoglobulin called Varizig, is used to treat patients who are at risk for severe complications from chickenpox and are unable to receive the chickenpox vaccine. Varizig has been approved for infants since they are unable to receive the vaccine. Additionally, patients who are immunocompromised are also qualified to receive Varizig. It should be used just post-exposure and used for up to ten days, or however the physician prescribes it.
The average age for acquiring chickenpox is between 5 and 9. Most people have had chickenpox by the age of 15. In the mid-90’s, 6 was the average age of the chickenpox patient. 10 years later, the age had increased to 19. In the mid-2000’s, chickenpox had a trend upward with prevalence among immunized populations, and the vaccine regime was changed from a single dose vaccine to 2 a dose regime. Within the last decade, chickenpox incidence has dropped by 90% and is accompanied by decreased hospitalizations and hospital

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